Definition of Gifted
The current official definition of “gifted” is found in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is,
Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities
In layman’s terms, this means a gifted child has abilities quite a bit above the norm. However, identifying gifted children can be extremely difficult because they are all different. Gifted children come from all demographic groups, have different personalities, learn differently from each other, can have a learning disability or not, and have different strengths and limitations.
How To Know if Your Child Is Considered Gifted
The criteria for testing a child for giftedness is determined at the state and local level. Because federal law mandates that schools offer special programs for gifted students, school districts use a process to screen students to decide who gets in the program. While there is no one correct way to decide who is more gifted than usual, most screening processes begin with referrals by parents and teachers. They will often use an IQ test to measure some of the skills used in school classrooms. If a child scores very well (unusually well), then that child may be an unusual learner who needs something other than what is offered in the normal classroom. Other parts of the screening process include surveys and aptitude tests.